Celebrating #FairTradeFortnight with Undercover Coffee
Review: Undercover Coffee for #FairtradeFortnight
There’s nothing like starting the day with the smell of a freshly made coffee. Whether its an espresso, latte, cappuccino or just a flat white, for many of us coffee is the fuel to our day.
Yet we rarely stop to consider where the coffee we buy comes from, and most importantly, whether it's Fairtrade or not. This Fairtrade Fortnight I headed to an undercover coffee event at the Ham Yard Hotel to discover what Fairtrade really means.
Once settled with an espresso martini or a green tea martini in hand we heard from Fairtrade Foundation about the real stories before Fairtrade produce and the significant difference it makes to farmers.
One of the most important ways that Fairtrade help farmers is by establishing a minimum price on a commodity such as coffee. This means that if the often volatile market moves down, the farmers are still guaranteed a minimum, stable income. Additionally if the prices rise then this is matched by the farmers' salary, meaning they never lose out.
We heard more about the farmers across the world whose lives have been changed by becoming Fairtrade farmers. I was particularly struck by the massive difference Fairtrade has made to the lives of women, who can now earn the same wage as a male farmer and finally have control of their own financial situation and a sense of independence and security. This is a poignant message so close to International Women’s Day and emphasises the huge difference switching to Fairtrade can make, not just to the lives of male farmers, but more importantly to women too.
As well as hearing about coffee, we also sampled some through a process called cupping, involving slurping, swishing and spitting! We tried three different types of coffee from South America and Vietnam of varying strength.
Whilst sampling these high street coffees I wondered which of my favourite coffee shops were Fairtrade, and sadly not many are. However when the brand behind the undercover coffee we were drinking was revealed, I realised that there is a chain with a moral conscious. Greggs, traditionally known for its sweet treats and sausage rolls has actually been a Fairtrade partner selling certified Fairtrade hot drinks for 10 years now.
Each cup of Greggs coffee is made with a unique blend of freshly ground Arabica and Robusta coffee beans which are slow-roasted to create the full flavour, and each cup sold contributes to fairly living conditions of the farmers who grew them.
Armed with more knowledge about Fairtrade, a stronger understanding of the difference it makes to lives of communities, and a taste for Greggs’ coffee, I left the undercover coffee event with a desire to choose Fairtrade, and a hope that the coffee shops on my high street do the same too.
Find out more about Greggs Fairtrade Coffee. A special thanks to Greggs and Fairtrade Foundation for a special and thought-provoking evening.